Ronda - The Bridge and Gorge in Ronda Andalucia
The Three Bridges
You will often hear of two bridges in Ronda. But, there are three of them. Each one is built across the gorge of el Tajo. This fabulous natural wonder has been carved out of the limestone by Guadalevin River.
The New Bridge was a Long Time in Coming
Philip V reigned in Spain in the first half of the XVIIIth Century. It was at this time Spain began to recover economically and grow again. Major infrastructure projects are often a sign of this. Philip V settled on the idea of a new bridge. This the King believed would add to the prestige of the town and area. He decided to construct an impressive 35 metres diameter arch one. It was completed in a short 8 months in 1735, but it would collapse and cause many a death in 1741.
Architect and Architecture
The architect was Jose Martin de Aldehuela. The bridge is 98 metres high. It does not go all the way down, but stands above the gorge’s floor. The gorge is 120 metres under you, when you stand on the bridge. The many pillars of stone are needed to support the bridge, at such a height.
Standing on the edge of a plateau, Ronda is at a high altitude. The winds can be quite strong, so please be careful. The Puente Nuevo is where the wind has many times blown people off it, including the architect.
Things to See in Ronda
You can enter the city via two gates: the Puerta de Almocabar or the Renaissance Gate. La Ciudad (one side of the bridge) contains many of Ronda’s architectural treasures. The Plaza de Espana is in El Mercadillo (the other side). Any lover of nature would enjoy passing hours in the Sierra de las Nieves, the Caldera or the Garganta del Arroyo del Cupil. Make sure you stop by the Plaza de Toros, possibly the most famous bull-fighting ring in the world. The Goyesca festival is held annually on its sands.
Conquerors of Ronda
The town of Ronda dates back to Ancient Roman times. It was repeatedly conquered, as the Iberian Peninsula had to suffer the invasion of multiple foreign powers, such as the Sueves, the Byzantines and the Moors whose rule would last from 711 to 1485.